There is a huge variety of hops, each with its distinctive character, aroma and flavour.
Using different combinations of hops gives the home brewer the freedom to let their imagination go wild.
Hops are usually infused into the brewing process in much the same way as you would brew tea.
The hops are usually added in 3 stages to the boiling wort to impair different qualities to the beer.
Stage 1 For bitterness
Stage 2 For flavour
Stage 3 For aroma
The bittering strength of the hops is measured by the Alpha acid content, represented in a percentage. The higher the rate, the stronger the hops.
The internationally recognised standard for measuring bitterness in beer is the European Bittering Unit (EBU).
Most beers fall between EBU 25 and EBU 65
The following is a guide to typical EBU levels for the more popular beer styles.
Pilsner - EBU 28-40